God gives each of us Spiritual Gifts and not everyone has the same Gift. 1 Corinthians 7:7 says, “I wish that all people were as I am. But each has his own gift from God, one person has this gift, another has that.” (CSB)
The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 7 was talking about how he desired that all men would be like him, single, so that they could concentrate on ministry. However, he realized that not everyone could do that…in fact, he looks at it as a Gift from God. I’ve never thought of it like that, but I can see how living that kind of life could be a Gift from God. I want to focus more on the second part of that verse. He says that each of us has a Gift given from God, and Paul states that not everyone has the same Gifts.
The Bible tells us we are to desire Spiritual Gifts. (1 Corinthians 14:1) In fact, according to that verse we are to pursue love first, then EARNESTLY desire Spiritual Gifts. The list of Spiritual Gifts is listed in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4. Many times, I’ve looked at these lists and thought, “I wish I could do….” whatever Spiritual Gift I don’t have. I see others who are adept at that Gift, and I think, “ I wish I could do that.” As I think back, I needed to look at why I wanted that Gift. What was my motivation? Was it so that people would say good things about me, and I would get a pat on the back or was it so that others could be blessed and encouraged in their walk with the Lord?
We must be careful in desiring Spiritual Gifts. The purpose of Spiritual Gifts is to edify the church, empower Believers, and advance the Gospel. We should ask God to give us the Spiritual Gifts He wants us to have. We should also seek Him in desiring additional Gifts.
The motivation should always be so that we could show love to fellow Believers. Love is a Spiritual Gift, and without it, everything else is worthless. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that without love, everything we do is just noise. I’m preaching to myself here. I need to remember, that whatever I do, sing, play my flute, teach, all of it must be with love.
In an article on desiringgod.com, Jon Bloom states, “Love may not be controversial in the church, but its demands are very intimidating and it is often manipulated and abused. Likewise the spiritual gifts are intimidating, some even strange, and all of them can too be manipulated and abused. All spiritual gifts are potentially dangerous, even the less controversial ones (think of the damage done by false teachers and deceptive administrators). In a sense, handling spiritual gifts is like handling dynamite — dynamis is the Greek word for “power” often used when referring to the Holy Spirit. When used rightly the gifts are explosively loving. When used wrongly they are explosively destructive. It’s tempting not to use them at all.”
So, how are we to desire Spiritual Gifts? First, we need to read the Bible and study the Gifts listed in the Scriptures referenced at the beginning of this blog. Also, read the book of Acts to see how the early church used the Gifts in building up the church and spreading the Gospel. Next, pray and ask God if a particular Spiritual Gifting is something He wants you to have. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you. If you are feeling the pull of a particular Gift strongly, seek Him with a sincere heart and ask Him to guide you and bring people who are being used in that Gifting to you so they can help you. Then, place yourself under sound teaching so that you can increase your knowledge and desire to be used in that Gift.
Desiring Spiritual Gifts is something that should be part of each Believer’s life. Remember, the Gifts are not given so that you receive an “Attaboy!” from others, but they are to be used to extend love and to meet needs in the lives of others. Then, step out in faith to utilize that Gift so that it shows God’s love and power to those who need help.